Five Characteristics of a Good Office Manager
This article deals with what traits are needed to develop into a good office manager whether in a small or large office setting.
Taking on the roll of office manager can be a big job even in a small office or company. If you choose to accept this position, you must be willing to see the job as work and not accept it because a title sounds good. If you become too smitten with your title, you will not have it very long. Not everyone is cut out to be an office manager. There are some common characteristics that must be evident for a person to become a good office manager.
You must be good at organizing.
Most offices that fail to run smoothly lack organization. There may be a process on paper, but if the execution is weak, the office will suffer. A good office manager must be able to maintain an organized work environment not only for the manager, but for the entire office. This can mean staying after weaker employees to keep them on task with the filing, cleaning, and paper work. When any of these jobs fall behind, the office will cease to operate efficiently. If the paper work falls too far behind, the office will stop working entirely.
It helps to be a people person.
The highest form of leadership occurs when those below you follow you because of your character and personality. Like any other management job, if you have to tell someone that you are the boss, you probably are not the boss. Being a people person does not mean that you will become pals with everyone who works for you. It means that those who work for you will know that you care about them as much as you do the office. They should also recognize that their job must be done right for you to see them as a valued employee. This can take a great deal of personal time to mentor those below you on the food chain until they understand the importance of their job.
You need to understand business machines and accounting.
Since most offices require accounting reports to be generated regularly, an office manager must be familiar with these reports. The office manager must also know the specifics regarding how the company needs have these reports produced and what data should be included. Along with the accounting functions, the office manager must be able to see that all necessary office equipment is in good working order and know how to use it. Items like postage meters, personal computers, fax machines, and copiers are all common machines found in even smaller offices.
A good office manager should be able to cover in the boss’s absence.
Customers do not call for help only after checking to see if the owner or president of the company is on the premises. The result is that someone has to be able to field questions and calm clients who call during their absences. This responsibility often falls to the office manager in smaller companies. In larger companies, this role is swapped for the office manager becoming the shield for the other office employees when upper level managers are upset by runnng afoul of some office protocol that limits their freedom.
Finally, a good office manager should like to work hard.
Office managers are frequently among the first to arrive and last to leave the building. In between, the office manager is asked to wear many hats, assume various personalities, and be responsible to keep a variety of tasks on target. This is not an easy job. It requires a person who enjoys big challenges and hard work with few rewards other than the paycheck.